British piers, Alabama buildings named among 25 at-risk monuments

NEW YORK, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Historical gems around the globe, ranging from a Syrian bazaar and the last active synagogue in Alexandria to England's Blackpool Piers and Alabama civil rights buildings, are threatened by war, disasters and urbanization, a monument conservation group said on Monday.

Days after the United States and Israel said they were quitting U.N. cultural agency UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund announced 25 of the world's at-risk sites on its biennial watch list.

SEE ALSO: London sky turns yellow as storm blows in Saharan dust, Spanish smoke

They include rock art at Matobo Hills Cultural Landscape in Zimbabwe, which has been settled for over 100,000 years; post-independence architecture in Delhi, India; and the 1980 Sirius public housing building in Sydney, Australia.

"It is a list and a group of places that tell the story of how we, as human beings and societies, interact with the places that are most important to us and give meaning and definition and identity to our lives," Joshua David, the president and CEO of the WMF, said in an interview before the release of the list.

27 PHOTOS
Sites on 2018 World Monuments Watch list
See Gallery
Sites on 2018 World Monuments Watch list

Click through to see the 25 at-risk monuments named by the World Monuments Fund. 

Pictured: The entry hall of the Government House in St. John's, Antigua

(Photo by Brent Winebrenner via Getty Images)

Matobo Hills Cultural Landscape in #Matobo #Zimbabwe is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves… https://t.co/xOWjILZRSn
Old City of Ta'izz in #Taizz #Yemen is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/rRLJM9yJUa
Buffalo Central Terminal in #Buffalo #NewYork is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/IC7Ulbeh7d
Alabama Civil Rights Sites are on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/6eFLUxKlKJ
Chao Phraya River in #Bangkok #Thailand is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/bu84eLC4n8
The Souk of #Aleppo in #Syria is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/XqZ9Ldc685
Cerro de Oro in Cañete Valley #Peru is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/QXSulb1Hzr
Karachi Historic Center in #Pakistan is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/CfTpHl7sgi
Sukur Cultural Landscape in #Madagali #Nigeria is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/kb8nSVCA7U
The Jewish Quarter of Essaouira in #Essaouira #Morocco is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves… https://t.co/Z3kcMDhrzH
Kagawa Prefectural Gymnasium in #Takamatsu #Japan is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves… https://t.co/0AISBLUKxT
#Amatrice in #Italy is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/09EJUCclA2
#Lifta in #Israel is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/W2UWXNOoXg
Al-Hadba' Minaret in #Mosul #Iraq is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/py0EAffwvU
Post-Independence Architecture of #Delhi #India is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/rVdaQSklzC
Blackpool Piers in #Blackpool #UK is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/3IwMB1SkCo
Potager du Roi in #Versailles #France is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/Hf6d4YvB8C
Tebaida Leonesa in #Leon #Spain is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/NtqPcK05gu
Takiyyat Ibrahim al-Gushani in #Cairo #Egypt is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/jQSx2Vy45N
Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in #Alexandria #Egypt is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/7YVUxKVZ2B
Disaster sites of the Caribbean, the Gulf, and Mexico are on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves… https://t.co/Z54jDAKgpK
Grand Theater, Prince Kung's Mansion in #Beijing #China is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves… https://t.co/hOnVyrTPtY
Ramal Talca-Constitución in #Chile is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/LSEHybNXzB
Sirius Building in Sydney #Australia is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch #amexpreserves @AmericanExpress https://t.co/IlSANB4COs
Government House in Antigua & Barbuda is on the 2018 #WorldMonumentsWatch https://t.co/9yuJhjTyDx
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The New York-based non-profit organization works with governments and communities to preserve heritage sites.

David said the group remained "deeply committed to pursuing our mission of heritage conservation through collaborative international partnerships."

The Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a war-damaged souk in Aleppo, the Old City of Ta'izz in Yemen, Mosul's Al-Hadba' Minaret and the Sukur Cultural Landscape in Nigeria are on the list.

Hurricanes have damaged sites in the Caribbean and earthquakes have destroyed areas of Mexico and the Italian town of Amatrice. Rising sea levels are endangering the Blackpool Piers.

The WMF list also highlights more than a dozen buildings in Alabama that played a role in the U.S. civil rights movement.

"Taken together, these sites provide a historical, social and cultural context that is much greater than the single decade of the 1955-1965 period that is commonly referred to in popular culture as the Civil Rights Movement," Priscilla Cooper, of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, told a news conference.

Experts in archaeology, architecture and art whittled down the 2018 list from over 170 nominations by citizens, activists and governments. Since its launch in 1996, the World Monuments Watch has identified 814 sites in 136 countries and territories and contributed some $100 million for site preservation.

"What we really want to do is empower communities to protect and conserve and steward the sites that are meaningful to them and we want to help them do that," said David.

The complete watch list is at www.wmf.org/2018watch.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.